I am so excited to introduce you to my friend, Rachelle. I have secretly been wanting to have her here on GiversLog since I began blogging. Because she is good. She is the type that comes up with the perfect thoughtful thing to do for every occasion, and then does it. (And we saw her husband, Tyler, holds his own too.) She also happens to be an amazing photographer. So of course that means the coolest, most meaningful photo gifts for friends and family. I asked if she’d stop by today and share a few gifts she’s given, and lucky for us, she said yes. And so, without further ado, I’ll turn you over to the lovely and talented Rachelle.
I love the beginning of the year. I always take the time to reflect a little more. I like the calm that comes after December, and the biggest gift-giving season, Christmas. I take the time to wonder, were my gifts what I wanted them to be? Was I as prepared as I wanted? Did I stay in budget? Were my gifts meaningful?
A friend recently shared with me a break-down of different types of gifts: a gift of something needed, a gift of something wanted, and a gift to treasure. This was helpful. I realized that mostly the kind of gifts I want to give are memorable, meaningful, and gifts to treasure. I also realize that even more than money, these gifts usually take time! I have given a few of these gifts in recent years and recognize their value to me and to the receiver.
I love photography and I love combining this with giving. I have done some of this, but one of my resolutions this year is to better plan for it. I want to better capture the moments with my camera that will help make my gifts meaningful and ones to treasure. There are dozens of fun gifts you can put together using your photos, and we’ll get to those. But first, let’s start with photo albums…oh what fun! You have so many options when it comes to these.
1. One year I gave my dear friend on her 30th birthday a book of “Thirty reasons why” she was loved. I had secretly gathered this information and photos for several weeks before hand and the finished project, like all of these type, was a treasured gift. I loved seeing the sincere qualities her children came up with and the fun things her siblings shared. I loved being a part of sharing her parents and husband’s love for her, in addition to my own.
2. I also did a photo book for a dear friend who was moving with our favorite memories with their family. I am not sure who cried more, me putting it together and remembering the special times we had or her receiving it.
3. This last year for Mother’s Day I made my mom a book entitled, “Lessons we learned from our mom”. Getting input from all four of my younger siblings, I came to better appreciate my mother and all that she had taught us growing up. I could see ways she had helped to shape influence us all for good.
4. For my twins’ preschool teachers, I interviewed each of the preschool kids and took their photograph. The book had the child’s photo, what they liked best about preschool and why they love their teacher. I printed the pages on 5×5 prints and “mod podged” them to a board book. It was a huge hit!
5. The last one I will share was an idea I had this year for my husband. He is a content man with few wants or needs. He isn’t high maintenance and coming up with gift ideas is always a challenge. So last year, 2008 I struggled and in the end wasn’t really thrilled with the gifts I came up with. They definitely qualified as meeting needs and wants, but I LOVE to give a gift that the receiver will treasure! In my quest to do better this year I began in January writing down one thing every day that I love or appreciate about him. This project began by being for him, but as the year progressed it became such a labor of love for me. It was such a rewarding experience to be “on the look-out” for the greatness EVERY day.
Have you made any albums as gifts? I’d love to hear about it. Plus I have a few photo gifts up my sleeve for tomorrow and am excited to share.